If you have no idea what I’m talking about, stop right now and Google Brene Brown, Daring Greatly and take the next hour and watch her TED talks on YouTube…it will change your life.
“Daring greatly means the courage to Be Vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations.” Brene Brown
This post is me being vulnerable.
This is me sharing my fears and insecurities.
This is me having courage to talk about the hard things.
This is me speaking my truth and not worrying about being judged.
This is me showing up and being seen.
This is me Daring Greatly.
In the last three months I have either sold, donated, gifted or thrown away the majority of my belongings. Everything that remained was stuffed into my 2005 Chevy Equinox, (which by the way is also gone now too) and hauled back to my hometown of Lima, Ohio. All I have to my name now are clothes, shoes, books, frames (of course!), and other sentimental items.
At the end of August, I quit my nursing job of 8 years. I worked at one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation, on the most amazing floor, with an incredible, supportive staff. I recently received two salary increases and was finally in a leadership role. This was my dream job, and a place I never thought I would leave.
Last September I met Joel in Tanzania, and we have been in a VERY long distance relationship ever since. Our relationship has consisted of 2 visits to see each other, hours of FaceTime, millions of texts and more “Reconnecting” than I’d like. There is a 9 hour time difference, and a 30 hour flight between us. There are embassy visits, visas to apply for, and immigration laws that we have to deal with. In a nutshell, this is not your “typical” relationship. The uncertainty of it all…it’s daunting.
In a few days, I will be moving to Africa. I will be living and working in a place where I don’t know the language, the culture, or the “norms”. I will be leaving all the comforts of my American life, and trading it for a life of riding the dala dala (their public transportation), hand washing clothes, and eeekk… NO Amazon!! I will have to sleep under a mosquito net, and be on the lookout for symptoms of malaria. My stomach will have to get used to a new diet, and my hair will have to deal with all the grays.
All of the above…it scares me. Right before I moved from CO, I had a few “what have I done” moments!! I’m scared that I could be making a huge mistake. I’m scared that I’m not good enough to teach these nurses, that I will fail miserably at my new job. I’m scared I’m going to lose ME in this new world. All the uncertainty of Joel and I’s relationship is scary. What if this relationship (like others) isn’t what I thought it was. What if this doesn’t work out, and I have to come back home, what will people think? What if, what if, what if….
The what if’s are definitely overwhelming, but when it comes down to it, I don’t want to spend my life looking in, wondering, being too scared of the what if’s coming true. I want more for myself. I don’t want my fears ruling my life. And, so what if I fail, at least I got in that arena and tried. At least I dared greatly.
So, what does that look like exactly? Daring greatly means even though I’m nervous about all of the upcoming changes, I am going to go in courageous and confident, and live life to the fullest!! Daring greatly in Tanzania means trying to learn the Swahili language, and being ok with sounding like an idiot most of the time! It means showing up and working with the Tanzanian nurses and knowing I don’t have all the answers, but still sharing and feeling confident with the knowledge and skills I do bring to them. It’s also being open to learning from them too. Daring greatly means having to ask for help.. all.the.time.. because I don’t know the language, and the culture, and the “norms”, and….the list goes on and on. It means embracing every new and uncomfortable situation, and being grateful for the chance to grow from it. Daring greatly means letting go of “my way” of doing things, and saying, “well, in America, its done like this”, and being open to a new way. It’s me pushing myself so far out of the boundaries of my comfort zone that I can’t help but be changed by it.
Daring greatly means being ok with not being ok sometimes. It means acknowledging there will be bad days, and I will feel lonely and miss my friends, family and comforts of home. It means being kind, gentle and patient with myself, and allowing myself time to adjust to this new life. It means letting go of the “I’m not good enough” thoughts, and replacing them with “I am a strong, confident, powerful woman” who IS good enough. Daring greatly means being truly joyful, and finding something to be grateful for. Everyday.
Daring greatly means jumping in, feet first, with Joel, even though it’s scary for me. It means embracing the uncertainty of our relationship, and not feeling like I need to control everything. It means staying in the present moment and not worrying so much about the what if’s of the future. Daring greatly with Joel is being vulnerable with him, sharing my feelings, being fully me, having the hard conversations, asking for help, and actually letting him help me (Miss Independent). It is us merging our lives, our cultures and worlds together the best way we know how…and sometimes failing miserably at it. It is me not stressing so much about the visas, and embassy interviews, and what/how/where are we going to live conversations. It’s me letting go and trusting God with our future.
And honestly… I am so ready for all of that, so ready to let go and experience everything God has in store for me on this journey. Even during my “what have I done” moments, I have had so much peace during this process. Giving away most of my belongings- it actually felt so freeing. Quitting my job- I was ready for a change, and a new challenge. Meeting Joel- he has been my rock in all of this, and my biggest supporter, keeping me calm every step of the way. I’d be crazy to pass up this opportunity with him, and I am beyond excited to see where God leads us.
I’m excited to be immersed in a new culture. I’m excited to learn the language, learn to drive (maybe!), cook rice pilau, and overall, just learn the Tanzanian way of life (I mean, who wouldn’t want a simpler, less stressful way of life?!). It’s what I fell in love with ten years ago! I’m ready to work with a great team of doctors and nurses at the Cancer Center, and see how we can better care for the cancer patients. I’m ready to meet new people, make new friends and build a new support network in Tz. I’m just ready. I’m excited and ready for this adventure to start!
So here’s to Daring Greatly on this Tanzanian adventure. There’s no turning back now, only an amazing opportunity ahead.
Wish me luck 🙂
I’ll see ya in Tanzania!!